George RR Martin and Neil Gaiman, two of the greatest minds of fantasy literature, are coming together to aid the internet’s favourite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in creating a video game about space.
Tyson has enlisted the authors, along with the internet’s other favourite scientist Bill Nye the Science Guy, to work on his new project Space Oddyssey: The Video Game, which will feature real science-based missions and galactic exploration. The authors are said to be building galaxies for users to explore in-game.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Tyson explained that it was the Martin’s commitment to consistency in his world-building that inspired him to reach out for help with his new venture.
“I like that they’re creating a world that needs to be self-consistent,” Tyson said. “Winter is coming, so what does that mean? I’m thinking about it as an astrophysicist: What kind of planet would that be? What kind of orbit would it have? What kind of star is it? It’s clearly not Earth, although they’re all humans—well, except for the dragons!”
He also complimented Martin for creating anatomically correct dragons: “The dragons are anatomically correct, with forelimbs becoming the wings (as in bats), rather than having separate wings sprouting from their backs, which has no precedent in Earth’s biodiversity,” he said.
Tyson launched a Kickstarter for the project back in June, offering backers the opportunity to participate in the building of the game. At the time of writing, he is just under $40,000 short of his $314,000 goal with three days left.
He will give the authors free reign, once they remain consistent.
“Create any world you want, just make it self-consistent, and base it on something accessible,” Tyson said. “I’m a big fan of Mark Twain’s quote: ‘First get your facts straight. Then distort them at your leisure.'”